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The Official Bryan Talbot fanpage
 

Bryan Talbot: why I'm a fan

 

I am a major fan of Bryan Talbot's and I have been so ever since a long ago issue of Imagine magazine (and if you can remember that, then you're showing your age as much as I am!) that ran a scenario based on the Adventures of Luther Arkwright for the Traveller system. Well, that got me intrigued, so I shelled out my 8 quid for Rat Trap and ever since then I have been hooked.

It's not that he's just a great artist - he is... it's not that he's just a great author - he is... it's the fact that altogether he's one of the best storytellers I have ever encountered. When I finally got my hands on the last installment in the story - issue 9 of the Valkyrie Press comic - I took it home without looking at in any way. Once home I warned everyone away from my room with threats of physical violence should they disturb me in any way and then I read the final installment. It was the best reading experience of my life: I had been waiting for the story to conclude for something like 8 years, and it was done do so soul-satisfyingly well that I got the buzz you get from finishing something that hasn't just occupied your imagination but you've lived for as long as you can remember.

On top of everything else it is so obvious that Luther Arkwright especially is a total and utter labour of love. I mean he wrote, drew and inked the entire thing himself: it's not a collaborative effort at all - it's all his imagination and concepts, realised on the page in his own hand. And what's more, there are no thought bubbles, and no sound effects: characters never stand with their feet two meters apart and pontificate: there is a coherent story line with a beginning, middle and end - unlike the Marvel and DC stuff which just goes on for ever and ever...

Also, whilst at University I went through a phase of consciously dressing like Luther did during his "down and out" period: I wore an army surplus great coat (German Airforce I think) and an Ankh... I lived in that coat for about six months! It was excellent! Almost an entire week's necessities could be kept in the pockets, thus avoiding needing to go home, or even to lectures! Also it was a "look" that was in conscious homage to a character I loved and an artist I deeply respected, but who no one else was familiar with: so it was a unique look, and also gave me a chance to introduce people to his work... which has in fact become something of a hobby of mine. In My Humble Opinion not nearly enough people know about Bryan and his work, and thus it REALLY narks me when people spout on about the Best Comic Ever, and mention things like the Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and the Sandman - and then they confess to not even having heard of the Adventures of Luther Arkwright!! I mean it leaves the others standing! This is one of the reasons for this website: to try and turn more people on to Bryans work. It always gives me a buzz when a mate tells me that they've read Luther and were absolutely gobsmacked: believe me it is worth it! If you want to find out where to get hold of Bryans work, check out the stuff page.

I have read most of Bryans other work including the Nemesis strip in 2000ad, the Nazz, One Bad Rat, and Technophage. I have also recently caught up with Frank Fazakerly, Ace Wilmslow and Chester P Hackenbush. I am waiting with baited breath for the sequel to Arkwright, which I am convinced I read in an article or interview somewhere would involve Luther and Anne's psychic daughter exploring the parallels after Childhood's End.... And after meeting Bryan (an amazing experience in itself) I have found out exactly what the sequel will contain, and I have also been lucky enough to see some of the work before the publisher - which was Bryans way of saying thank you for creating this website for him!

(Please note: this was written before Heart of Empire came out, and so I had no idea what was going to happen in it!)


Also see the articles homepage where all of the articles about Bryan are linked to; also see the page where I tell you what it is like to meet your hero, and also have a look at the tour of the site and the frequently asked questions and Bryan's advice to new comic artists.

 

 
   
The design and content of this page and this entire website is copyright 1999, 2006 by James Robertson: all images are copyright 1999, 2006 by Bryan Talbot